16Mar13 – WPPI and Musings About the Future

March 16, 2013 in Portrait

BFL - Peter & Terry Tie the Knot 1600px wm-001

Peter Bryant and Terri Lavenstein share their wedding day with dozens of photographers during a photowalk with Moshe Zusman Workshops at the 2013 WPPI Conference. 85mm, f3.2, ISO400 1/200s, softbox with Profoto strobe at camera right.

Having just returned from my trip to WPPI University and the WPPI Conference & Expo, I’m re-energized and excited with the prospect of working on new projects and portraits over the next year!  I had the opportunity to listen to and learn from some of the best in the industry (to include Moshe Zusman, Doug Gordon, JP Elario, Craig Stidham, Jerry Ghionis…), review my portfolio with potential mentors, attend classes with other aspiring photographers, and network with artists (yes, photographers can be artists!) who have a similar vision and passion for not just delivering an end product, but one into which we have infused our personality, sweat, frustration, love, and imagination.

I also discovered that my work is currently undervalued  - that the Camp Zama and military community in general can be fickle creatures/customers; a common sentiment I came across again and again in my encounters.  To that end, my portrait rates reflect the existing market only and should not be interpreted as my value – something I have to learn to distinguish.  So what will it take to become a successful photographer?  I have 7 years until I retire from my day job to figure out that formula.  Until then, I’ll plan to continue to push my limits, take on challenges, explore/tinker/tweak/learn, and never pass up an opportunity.  All this, while thanking my awesome wife and daughters for their support, love, and tolerance!

Note: Apologies about the lack of a HKS Premium Day Part 2 – it seems that the coverage was pre-empted by an opportunity for paid work.  Look for more of my photo coverage in an upcoming issue of Super Street magazine!